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Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 40-4-24 BLUEBERRY SCORCH VIRUS QUARANTINE

Rule 40-4-24-.01 Identification of Pest

The Commissioner of Agriculture has determined that Blueberry Scorch Virus, a plant disease not known to be established in the State of Georgia, is a plant pest and is injurious to the agricultural interests of the state.

Rule 40-4-24-.02 Commodities Covered

Plants, buds, vegetative cuttings, root stock and/or any other propagative forms of Vaccinium species (i.e., fruit bearing and ornamental varieties of blueberry plants, huckleberry plants, etc.) are the Commodities subject to this Blueberry Scorch Virus Quarantine.

Rule 40-4-24-.03 Quarantine

The commodities described in Rule 40-4-24-.02 shall be quarantined when not in compliance with Rule 40-4-24-.04 or any time the virus/pest is detected. This quarantine shall include blueberry plants in the field which have tested positive for the Blueberry Scorch Virus. Should any cultivated blueberry plant test positive for Blueberry Scorch Virus, the entire plant (including the root system) must be destroyed via incineration. Testing of nearby blueberry plants and insecticide treatments may be required at the discretion of the Commissioner of Agriculture. Any Vaccinium species originating from outside of the United States may be quarantined upon arrival in Georgia until testing for Blueberry Scorch Virus is completed. The Commissioner of Agriculture may require that shipments of plants be held separate from other Vaccinium species until testing is completed.

Rule 40-4-24-.04 Permitted Movement of Vaccinium Species into Georgia

(1) All Commodities Covered by this Quarantine that are shipped into Georgia must be certified virus free by a virus-free certification program recognized by the Commissioner of Agriculture and must be accompanied by a Permit or State Phytosanitary Certificate issued by the State Plant Regulatory Organization.
(2) Prior notification of regulated commodity shipment is required. The shipper shall send by mail, facsimile or e-mail a copy of the Permit or State Phytosanitary Certificate to: Plant Protection Division, Georgia Department of Agriculture, 19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334; facsimile 404-656-3644; e-mail: Plantindustry@agr.state.ga.us. The Certificate must list:
(a) the type and quantity of plants,
(b) the address of shipper,
(c) the name and address of recipient,
(d) the test results, and
(e) contact number(s) of the shipper and recipient.
(3) Commodities shipped in violation of the requirements of 40-4-24-.04 may be returned to their point of origin or destroyed at the expense of the owner.

Rule 40-4-24-.05 Permits

(1) The Commissioner may, upon request by Plant Regulatory Organization of a state or commonwealth, issue a Permit to facilitate the movement of Vaccinium species into Georgia provided that:
(a) Blueberry Scorch Virus is not known to be established in that state or commonwealth, and
(b) only plants that originate from that state or commonwealth are shipped under this Permit.
(2) Requests must be mailed to the Plant Protection Division, Georgia Department of Agriculture, 19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. Each Permit will expire December 31 of the year issued. Permits will automatically become void if the Commissioner deems that Blueberry Scorch Virus has become established in that state or as such time that the Commissioner feels appropriate.

Rule 40-4-24-.06 Penalties

Any person, organization or business that violates the provisions of this Quarantine shall be subject to monetary penalties and/or the suspension, denial or revocation of license.